A few Christmases ago, when my grandfather “Papa” was still alive, I was struck with an idea to make the world’s first Yellow Submarine chess set. Papa and I had a mutual love for the game and the Beatles, as well. I worked hard on that chess set for weeks, and I couldn’t wait to present it to him Christmas morning. I even made a custom box for the game.
Christmas morning, he opened the gift and laughed at it. Not in a bad way, but he was very amused at the idea of a Beatles chess set. Whenever I came over to visit during the next year, he had the chess set out on display. That was the last Christmas we had with Papa; he passed away August of the next year. I never got to play the game with him, but the set was back in my possession after his passing and I have treasured it as much as he did.
I made a duplicate chess set for Tim last Christmas after he came over to visit one time and fell in love with it. Since then, we have played the game many times. I feel like Papa is there, watching, because I really only talk about him and the great memories I have of him when I pull the chess set out. I never knew what such a simple gift would give back to me. My love for my grandfather is embodied in this chess set, and I am glad that he got to see how much he meant to me that last Christmas we all had together. That love carried over into the person that I hope to spend the rest of my life with.
What was the best gift you’ve ever given someone?